See world-famous wall and muck Dive Sites in Manado Bay and Bunaken National Park
Below is a small selection of our favourite dive sites in Manado Bay and Bunaken National Park.
Lekuan 1 – Bunaken Island
Lekuan 1 is the most famous dive in Bunaken national park. The huge wall is covered with enormous sponges, soft and hard corals and offers both macro-and wide-angle opportunities. The wall goes down to about 40m where it slopes out. You will find swarms of Pyramid Butterfly fish just off the wall and an occasional shark and eagle ray will pass by out of the blue. Those keen on macro will find Pygmy Sea Horses, Orang-Utang crabs, Nudibranchs, and much more.
- A colorful wall overgrown with Barrel Sponges and soft corals;
- Plenty of Green Sea Turtles in all sizes
Sachiko’s – Bunaken Island
Sachiko’s Point is a beautiful wall dive on the north side of Bunaken Island. It is covered with Gorgonian Sea fans; Barracudas, Black Tip Reef Sharks and Napoleon Wrasses are often spotted in the blue water. The reef shallows are perfect for snorkeling and a group of Bumphead Parrot fish is often seen feeding on the hard corals.
Bunaken Timur – Bunaken Island
Timur means “East” in Indonesian and so, of course, this dive is located on the east side of Bunaken Island. It’s a 40m deep wall, covered with hard and soft corals. The reef shallow is the most pristine reef around Bunaken Island and offers the best snorkeling around the island. Some of the highlights are:
- Pygmy Sea Horses
- Plenty of Turtles, both Green Sea and Hawksbill Turtles
- Eagle Rays (if you are fortunate)
Pangulingan or Tanjung Kopi – Manado Tua
Located on the northern side of Manado Tua, this is an advanced dive because of the strong currents that can sweep you across the reef. The reef plateau starts at 5m deep and slopes down slowly to 30m. At 30m the wall drops down to greater depths. Due to the current you can often see bigger fish here. There are resident schools of Batfish and Jackfish that hang out in the current and often Napoleons make an appearance.
Ron’s Point – Bunaken Island
Located on the most southern tip of Bunaken is Ron’s Point. Because two currents meet each other and we often dive to 35m, this is an advanced dive. But there are excellent rewards below: you can find Black Tip Reef Sharks patrolling the bottom and huge Tunas hanging out in the current. On the reef you can find Leaf Scorpion fish, Pontohi Seahorses and many other macro subjects.
Murex House Reef – Manado Bay
The Murex House Reef is easily accessible from our beach. Up to a depth of 12m, you will find a coral slope with beautiful table corals and lots of macro subjects. Below 12m, you find a sandy slope with patches of corals and several reef balls that are nicely overgrown with corals and sponges. Several underwater trails make it perfect to explore by yourself. Night diving is especially interesting on the house reef. On night dives, you’ll find Spanish Dancers, Starry Night Octopi, and other creatures of the night.
Tanjung Bulo – Manado Bay
Just south of Murex Resort is a sloping reef called Tanjung Bulo. This site is famous for the amount of Nudibranchs it has. These tiny and colorful critters are everywhere and it is not unusual to spot over fifteen species in one dive. Next to that you will see Cuttlefish, Ribbon Eels, Sea Snakes and, when you are lucky, your dive guide will show you the fabulous Harlequin Shrimp.
Molas Wreck – Manado Bay
Located just north of Manado is the Molas Wreck. This is an old Dutch cargo ship that sunk just after WWII when it unfortunately struck a reef. Because of its depth (24 – 40m), this is an advanced dive. You will spend the first part of the dive discovering the wreck and its soft corals and sponges. When your bottom time on the wreck is finished, you will swim to the neighboring reef to finish your dive. The video below gives you a good impression of the Molas wreck:
Tanjung Papaya – Manado Bay
In the old days there was a Papaya plantation on its shore — hence the name Tanjung Papaya. The main attraction is the artificial reef made out of motor cycles. Coral growth is spreading on the motor cycles, and so they are a good place to spot Nudibranchs, Razor Fish, and all types of Pipefish. Next to the motorcycles is a rubble reef patch where you can spend hours spotting all the camouflaged macro critters including Mantis Shrimp, Ribbon Eels, Ghostpipe Fish and Stone Fish, to name just a few of these hard-to-spot critters.
City Extra – Manado Bay
City Extra belongs to the muck diving purists. The shallows are full of sea grass and boast Sea Horses, Ghostpipe Fish, Flying Gurnards and other critters. Going deeper on the sandy slope will give you the opportunity to spot different species of Frog Fish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, and even the elusive Mimic Octopus.
Poopoh (Bethlehem & Tanjung Kelapa) – Manado Bay
Located in the southern section of the national park is Poopoh, a small fisherman village. In front of this village there is great muck diving on black sandy slopes covered with sea grass. Here you’ll find Frogfish, Mimic Octopi, Dugongs, and Ghostpipe Fish. At the end of the sandy slope a mini wall fully covered with soft corals and with a huge concentration of fish species leads you eventually back to the boat.
This dive site is the third richest dive site in the world, in terms of species diversity. Dr. Gerry Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann did a fish count survey there in 2012 and counted 310 different fish species in one dive. Over the course of two dives they counted a total of 385 different fish species. Only two other dive sites, both in Raja Ampat, have a higher density of fish species counted during one dive.